Equality California
California Moves to Expand Unemployment Benefits for Same-Sex Couples

2010 Press Releases

August 24, 2010

CONTACT: Vaishalee Raja, Equality California
PHONE:  916-284-9187  916-284-9187 EMAIL: vaishalee@eqca.org

California Moves to Expand Unemployment Benefits for Same-Sex Couples

Sacramento - The California State Senate passed the Unemployment Benefits Act (AB 2055) yesterday in a 23-11 vote. The bill seeks to ensure that same-sex couples in California have access to unemployment benefits. Previously approved by the State Assembly, the bill was introduced by Assemblymember Hector De La Torre (D-South Gate) and sponsored by Equality California.

“Because domestic partnerships are not the same as marriage, the California legislature took another necessary step toward eliminating discrimination against same-sex couples,” said Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California. “The Unemployment Benefits Act will provide same-sex couples in committed relationships who plan to register as domestic partners equal access to benefits that affect the wellbeing and security of their families.”

Currently, heterosexual couples who are planning to marry are eligible for unemployment benefits if one of the partners loses his or her job. This bill would extend the same rights to same-sex couples planning to enter into a domestic partnership.

“This legislation will give domestic partners fairness under the law, family unity will be preserved, and all committed relationships will be given equal access to benefits,” stated Assemblymember De La Torre.

The bill now moves back to the Assembly floor for a procedural concurrence vote before heading to the governor’s desk.

To find out more information about Equality California’s sponsored legislation, please visit www.eqca.org/legislation.

Equality California (EQCA) is the largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender-rights advocacy organization in California. Over the past decade, Equality California has strategically moved California from a state with extremely limited legal protections for LGBT individuals to a state with some of the most comprehensive civil rights protections in the nation. Equality California has passed over 60 pieces of legislation and continues to advance equality through legislative advocacy, electoral work, public education and community empowerment. www.eqca.org